Philippine Eagle/ Pithecophaga jefferyi:
Credit to: Richard Lewis; The Peregrine Fund (http://www.peregrinefund.org/PhilEgle.html)
Size:The Philippine eagle, a relatively large bird, is approximately 1m (100cm) in height and has a wingspan of 2m (200 cm).
Weight: The Philippine eagle weighs about 6.5 kg.
Distribution: The Philippine eagle is only found in the rainforests of the Philippines, along steep mountain sides. It is very scarce on Luzon, Mindanao, Samar and Leyte.
Appearance: The adult eagle has generally dark brown dorsal feathers with a fluffy white chest.
Its bill bluish and feet yellow, and with a beak that is arched, massive and laterally compressed.
The wings are broad but relatively short to enhance its maneuverability in the forest. Along with a long tail and powerful legs, the eagle's features makes it highly adapted to foraging. In flight the wings are broad and rounded and the tail long.
Behaviour: The Philippine eagle usually nests in large trees on natural platforms approximately 30m off the ground. Few of their nesting sights discovered during the last decade have been located within steep, forested valleys or ravines.
Diet: The Philippine eagle feeds on small tree-dwelling species that is most abundant. Its diet include mostly flying lemurs, some squirrels, snakes, civet cats, hornbills, and occasionally bats and monkeys.
Studies have also shown that the animal is an opportunistic hunter.
Lifespan: The Philippine eagle is known to live about 30 to 60 years.
Reproduction: The reproduction cycle of the Philippine eagle is one of the reasons why the eagle is so rare.
A pair of Philippine eagles may soar in the area of the nest before breeding. In addition, the same nest high up in a forest tree is used over successive years and is usually lined up with green leaves.
A single egg is incubated, mostly by the female, for about 60 days; and throughout the breeding cycle, the male delivers food until assisted by the female in the later half of the 105-day nestling period. The young ,that resemble the adults with sexes thatare similar, only try to catch their own prey four or five months after leaving the nest and, with such a prolonged cycle, successful breeding may only occur in alternate years.
Why is it Endangered?? There are two main reasons for their status today. The first being the loss of habitat, the second being the wildlife trade.
Since the start of the century, the forests which are the eagle’s natural habitat, have been degraded, significantly reduced the population of eagles still in existence. With the absence of suitable nesting places the eagle has failed to breed effectively bringing their numbers to alarming levels.
In Philippines, the animal is captured for sale as pets and specimen and this has also contributed to its decline. Because of the eagle's dedication to rearing its young, nesting eagles have been particularly vulnerable to poaching because parent eagles will always return to the nest for as long as it still cares for its offspring.
Conservation: There are only about between 100 - 300 Philippine eagles left in the wild today.